2 Kings 7–9

1 Then Elisha said, “Hear the word of the Lord: Thus says the Lord: Tomorrow about this time a measure of fine flour will be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, at the gate of Samaria.”

2 Then an officer on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God, “If the Lord were to make windows in heaven, could this thing happen?”

And he said, “You will see it with your eyes, but you will not eat from it.”

3 There were four leprous men at the entry of the gate, and they said to one another, “Why are we sitting here until we die? 4 If we say, ‘Let us enter the city,’ the famine is in the city, and we shall die there. But if we sit here, we die also. Now come, let us fall into the camp of the Arameans. If they spare our lives, we will live, and if they kill us, we will die.”

5 So they rose at twilight to enter the camp of the Arameans. When they came to the edge of the camp of the Arameans, there was no one there. 6 For the Lord had caused the Aramean camp to hear the sound of chariots, horses, even the sound of a large army, so that they said to one another, “Listen, the king of Israel has hired the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians to come against us.” 7 So they got up and ran away in the twilight and abandoned their tents, their horses, and their donkeys. The camp remained just as it was, and they ran for their lives.

8 When these leprous men came to the edge of the camp, they went into one tent. They ate and drank, carried off silver, gold, and clothes, and went and hid them. Then they went back, entered another tent, and carried off things from there and went and hid them. 9 Then they said to one another, “We are not doing right today. This is a day of good news. If we are silent and wait until the morning light, we will be found guilty. Let us go now and enter the city and tell the king’s household.”

10 So they went and called to the gatekeepers of the city, and they told them, “We came to the camp of the Arameans, and there was no one there. There was no sound of a man’s voice, only horses tied, donkeys tied, and the tents as they were.” 11 Then the gatekeepers called out and told the king’s household inside.

12 The king got up in the night and said to his servants, “I will show you what the Arameans have done to us. They know that we are starving, so they left the camp to hide themselves in the field, saying, ‘When they come out of the city, we will capture them alive and get into the city.’”

13 One of his servants answered, “Let some men take five of the remaining horses, since those remaining will suffer the fate of the whole multitude of Israel that have perished already; so let us send them and see.”

14 So they took two chariots with horses, and the king sent them after the army of the Arameans, saying, “Go and see.” 15 So they went after them to the Jordan, and the whole way was full of clothes and vessels, which the Arameans had thrown away in their haste. Then the messengers returned and told the king. 16 Then the people went out and looted the camp of the Arameans. So a measure of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, according to the word of the Lord.

17 The king had appointed the officer on whose hand he leaned to have charge over the gate, and the people trampled him in the gate, and he died, just as the man of God had said when the king came down to him. 18 Then the man of God had spoken to the king, saying, “Two seahs of barley shall be sold for a shekel, and a seah of fine flour for a shekel, about this time tomorrow at the gate of Samaria.”

19 The officer had answered the man of God, “If the Lord should make windows in heaven, could such a thing happen?” And he had said, “You shall see it with your own eyes, but you shall not eat of it.” 20 So it happened to him, for the people trampled him in the gate, and he died.

Chapter 8

1 Then Elisha spoke to the woman whose son he had restored to life, “Get up and go, you and your household, and sojourn wherever you can, for the Lord has called for a famine, and it will come on the land for seven years.” 2 So the woman got up and did according to the word of the man of God. She went with her household and sojourned in the land of the Philistines for seven years.

3 At the end of seven years, the woman returned from the land of the Philistines, and she went forth to appeal to the king for her house and her field. 4 Now the king was talking with Gehazi the servant of the man of God, saying, “Tell me all the great things that Elisha has done.” 5 As he was telling the king how he had restored a dead body to life, the woman whose son he had restored to life started appealing to the king for her house and her land.

Gehazi said, “My lord king, this is the woman, and this is her son whom Elisha restored to life.” 6 When the king questioned the woman, she told him.

So the king appointed to her an official, saying, “Restore all that was hers and all the proceeds of the field from the day that she abandoned the land until now.”

7 Then Elisha came to Damascus while Ben-Hadad the king of Aram was ill, and he was told, “The man of God has come here.” 8 The king said to Hazael, “Take a present with you and go to meet the man of God. Inquire of the Lord through him, saying, ‘Will I recover from this illness?’”

9 So Hazael went to meet him and took a present with him, all sorts of good things from Damascus, forty camel loads. He came and stood before him and said, “Your son Ben-Hadad king of Aram has sent me to you, asking, ‘Will I recover from this illness?’”

10 And Elisha said to him, “Go, say to him, ‘You will certainly recover,’ but the Lord has shown me that he will certainly die.” 11 Hazael stared at him until he was ashamed. Then the man of God wept.

12 Hazael said, “Why are you weeping, my lord?”

He said, “Because I know the evil that you will do to the children of Israel. You will set their fortresses on fire. You will kill their young men with the sword. You will smash their children and rip open their pregnant women.”

13 Hazael said, “What? Is your servant a dog that he should do this great thing?”

And Elisha said, “The Lord has shown me that you will be king over Aram.”

14 Then he left Elisha and went to his master, who said to him, “What did Elisha say to you?” And he said, “He told me that you would surely recover.” 15 But the next day he took a blanket, dipped it in water, and spread it on his face, so that he died. And Hazael reigned in his place.

16 In the fifth year of Joram the son of Ahab, king of Israel, Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, became king. 17 He was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. 18 He walked in the way of the kings of Israel, just as the house of Ahab had done, for the daughter of Ahab was his wife. He did evil in the sight of the Lord. 19 Yet the Lord was not willing to destroy Judah, for the sake of His servant David, since He promised to give a lamp to him and his sons perpetually.

20 In his days Edom rebelled against the rule of Judah, and they put a king over themselves. 21 So Jehoram crossed over to Zair, all his chariots with him, and he rose at night and struck Edom and the captains of their chariots who had surrounded him. But the people fled to their tents. 22 So Edom has been in rebellion against the rule of Judah until this day. Libnah rebelled at the same time.

23 The rest of the deeds of Jehoram and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? 24 So Jehoram slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the City of David. Ahaziah his son reigned in his place.

25 In the twelfth year of Joram the son of Ahab, king of Israel, Ahaziah the son of Jehoram, king of Judah, became king. 26 Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king. He reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah, the daughter of Omri, king of Israel. 27 He walked in the way of the house of Ahab and did evil in the sight of the Lord, as the house of Ahab did, for he was the son-in-law of the house of Ahab.

28 He went with Joram the son of Ahab to the war against Hazael king of Aram at Ramoth Gilead, and the Arameans struck Joram. 29 King Joram returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Arameans had inflicted on him at Ramah when he fought against Hazael king of Aram.

And Ahaziah the son of Jehoram, king of Judah, went down to see Joram the son of Ahab in Jezreel because he was ill.

Chapter 9

1 Then Elisha the prophet called one of the sons of the prophets, “Prepare yourself. Take this flask of oil in your hand, and go to Ramoth Gilead. 2 When you get there, look for Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi. Go in and make him rise from among his brothers, and bring him into an inner chamber. 3 Then take the flask of oil, pour it on his head, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord: I have anointed you king over Israel.’ Then open the door and flee. Do not wait.”

4 So the young man, the prophet, went to Ramoth Gilead. 5 When he arrived, the commanders of the army were sitting, and he said, “I have a word for you, Commander.”

Jehu said, “Which one of us?”

And he said, “For you, Commander.”

6 So he arose, went into the house, poured the oil on his head, and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, God of Israel: I am anointing you king over the people of the Lord, over Israel. 7 You will strike the house of Ahab your master, and I will avenge the blood of my servants the prophets and the blood of all the servants of the Lord from the hand of Jezebel. 8 The whole house of Ahab will perish, and I will cut off from Ahab all the males in Israel, both imprisoned and free. 9 I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam son of Nebat and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah. 10 Dogs will eat Jezebel in the territory of Jezreel, and no one will bury her.” Then he opened the door and fled.

11 When Jehu had returned to his master’s servants, one said to him, “Is all well? Why did this madman come to you?”

And he said to them, “You know this man and his babble.”

12 They said, “A lie! Tell us.”

Then he said, “Thus and thus he spoke to me, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord: I am anointing you king over Israel.’”

13 Then they hurried. Each took his clothes, put them under him on the bare stairs, and blew a horn, saying, “Jehu is king.”

14 So Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi, conspired against Joram. Joram had been guarding Ramoth Gilead, he and all Israel, because of Hazael king of Aram. 15 But King Joram had returned to be healed in Jezreel from the wounds with which the Arameans had stricken him when he fought with Hazael king of Aram. So Jehu said, “If this be your minds, let no fugitive exit the city to go tell Jezreel.” 16 Then Jehu rode in a chariot and went to Jezreel, for Joram lay there. Ahaziah king of Judah had come down to see Joram.

17 A watchman was standing on the tower in Jezreel, and he saw the company of Jehu as he was coming and said, “I see a company.”

And Joram said, “Take a horseman and send him to meet them, and let him say, ‘Is it peace?’”

18 So the horseman went to meet him and said, “Thus says the king, ‘Is it peace?’”

But Jehu said, “What have you to do with peace? Circle in behind me.”

So the watchman reported, “The messenger came to them, but he is not returning.”

19 Then he sent out a second horseman, who came to them and said, “Thus says the king, ‘Is it peace?’”

Again, Jehu said, “What have you to do with peace? Circle in behind me.”

20 The watchman reported, “He came to them, but he is not returning. The driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi, for he drives furiously.”

21 Then Joram said, “Hitch my chariot.” So his chariot was hitched, and Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah went out, each in his chariot. They went out to meet Jehu and found him on the property of Naboth the Jezreelite. 22 When Joram saw Jehu he said, “Is it peace, Jehu?”

And he said, “What peace, so long as the harlotries of your mother Jezebel and her sorceries are so many?”

23 Then Joram turned the reins, fled, and said to Ahaziah, “There is treachery, Ahaziah.”

24 Jehu drew a bow with his full strength and shot Joram between his shoulder blades. The arrow went out at his heart, and he kneeled down in his chariot. 25 Then Jehu said to Bidkar his officer, “Lift him up and throw him on the property of the field of Naboth the Jezreelite. Remember when you and I were riding together after Ahab his father and the Lord pronounced this oracle about him: 26 ‘Surely I have seen yesterday the blood of Naboth and his sons, declares the Lord, and I will pay you back on this property, declares the Lord.’ Now lift him up and throw him onto the property, according to the word of the Lord.”

27 But when Ahaziah the king of Judah saw this, he fled on the path to the garden house. Jehu chased after him and said, “Shoot him too.” So they shot him on the ascent to Gur, which is by Ibleam. And he fled to Megiddo and died there. 28 His servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem and buried him in his tomb with his fathers in the City of David. 29 In the eleventh year of Joram the son of Ahab, Ahaziah became king over Judah.

30 When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard about it. She put black paint on her eyes, adorned her head, and looked down through the window. 31 As Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, “Is everything all right, Zimri, murderer of his master?”

32 And he lifted up his face toward the window and said, “Who is on my side? Who?” And two or three eunuchs looked down to him. 33 He said, “Drop her down.” So they dropped her down and some of her blood splattered on the wall and on the horses. Then he trampled her.

34 Then he entered, ate and drank, and said, “Attend to that cursed woman and bury her, for she is a king’s daughter.” 35 So they went to bury her, but they found nothing of her except a skull, the feet, and the palms of her hands. 36 They returned and told Jehu, and he said, “This is the word of the Lord, which He spoke by His servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, ‘On the property of Jezreel dogs will eat the flesh of Jezebel. 37 The corpse of Jezebel will be like dung in the field on the property of Jezreel, so that they cannot say, This is Jezebel.’”

John 1:1–28

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were created through Him, and without Him nothing was created that was created. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. 5 The light shines in darkness, but the darkness has not overcome it.

6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 This man came as a witness in order to testify concerning the Light, that all men through Him might believe. 8 He was not this Light, but was sent in order to testify concerning the Light.

9 The true Light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was created through Him, yet the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. 12 Yet to all who received Him, He gave the power to become sons of God, to those who believed in His name, 13 who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, the glory as the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.

15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’” 16 We have all received from His fullness grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time. The only Son, who is at the Father’s side, has made Him known.

19 Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”

21 They asked him, “Who then? Are you Elijah?”

He said, “I am not.”

“Are you the Prophet?”

He answered, “No.”

22 They said to him then, “Who are you? Tell us so that we may give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say concerning yourself?”

23 John said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ just as the prophet Isaiah said.”

24 Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees. 25 They asked him, “Why do you baptize then, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”

26 John answered them, “I baptize with water, but One stands among you, whom you do not know. 27 This is He who comes after me, who is preferred before me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.”

28 These things took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.